More Prison Hospitals Needed, Receiver Says
Prison inmate hospitals should be built instead of two prisons proposed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R), Robert Sillen, the federal receiver overseeing reforms to the state's prison health care system, said on Thursday, the AP/Contra Costa Times reports.
Schwarzenegger has called a special legislative session beginning Aug. 7 to address prison reform, and he supports building new prisons to alleviate overcrowding.
Sillen said he will recommend that Schwarzenegger instead build inmate hospitals, which will still relieve crowding and improve inmate health care. Sillen added that he will order the state to build more prison hospitals regardless of whether Schwarzenegger accepts the recommendation.
According to Sillen, the state prison system needs at least 1,200 more hospital beds to bring health care to an adequate level. One possible option for providing the beds is building three 400-bed hospitals around the state.
Sillen also said he soon will order pay increases for prison health workers and require California to hire more medical providers (Thompson, AP/Contra Costa Times, 7/14).